WASHINGTON (Bloomberg) -- The United States and the European Union are close to setting joint standards for electric vehicles in a move that would foster development of the low-polluting cars, the EU's top trade official said today.
"The EU and the U.S. are about to agree to an ambitious work plan aiming at aligning regulatory issues, standards and research" for those vehicles, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said in a speech in Washington D.C. Tuesday.
With joint rules the world's two largest economies will "avoid moving into different directions and risk creating new market barriers," he said.
De Gucht, who is in Washington to meet with U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, other administration officials and business executives, didn't elaborate on what the standards would be.
They may be announced when he returns to Washington for a meeting with White House officials late this year.